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Eatman: Thoughts From Trap Games, 3rd WR & Emmitt


For those who regularly read this site and listen to the radio shows, they know my thoughts on this game with the Chiefs.

When the schedule came out in April, I immediately listed this game as the most important or intriguing game on the list. This is the one I circle, although in all my years of covering football I have never taken a sharpie out to a schedule, or seen anyone else do it either. Circling games on a schedule just sounds good, but I've never seen it happen. Anyways, I understand the premise.

And to me, this game has always been a big one to perhaps give us a good indication on what kind of season it will be.

I thought this way last year, too. I said the Seattle game would be huge. Although, I didn't realize how good the Seahawks would be. And for that reason, who knows how good Kansas City will be as well.

But win or lose against the Giants, I think this game is vital.

If you beat New York like the Cowboys did, then it's important to build on it. This team has been 8-8 for two years. Usually, that trend starts early in the year. When you win the first game and drop the second, your 1-1 record is an obvious course to 8-8.

At some point, this team needs to show it can get off the .500 level.

And had the Cowboys lost the opener, then making sure you stay out of an 0-2 hole is also crucial. So that's why this Week 2 game on the road is so important and has been since April, in my opinion.

The good thing for the Cowboys is that it's hard to look past this one. Sure, the Chiefs might have been 2-14, but they're favorites going into this game.

The people who study this for a living think the Chiefs will win it, so it won't be easy. But I've heard the word "trap game" several times already, and let it be known, the Cowboys are the underdogs in this one. 

  • I know Brian Waters is working with the second-team offense, or at least that's what he did to start practice on Wednesday, but something tells me he's going to play. And I just have a hard time thinking he will not be in uniform when he returns to the field in Kansas City, where he played 10 years.

If anyone knows his body, it's him. He should know how long it takes for him to get out there and play, especially in a game that should be so meaningful. If he's not ready, he's not ready. But I just can't imagine him not being ready for this one.

  • We're starting to hear a lot of talk from fans about Dwayne Harris playing over Terrance Williams as the No. 3 receiver. I don't think anything should be ruled out, and maybe it's something that happens a little more with time.

But it's one game. And really, Harris impressed people on special teams more than anything.

Williams is bigger. He's faster. And he's only played one game. Let's not forget Harris couldn't really stay on the roster in his first year and never caught a pass in a game until his second season.

If – and it's a big if – the Cowboys can just live through some of these growing pains with Williams, the upside will be remarkably better for this offense in the long run to stick with him as the No. 3 and keep giving him opportunities.

I don't look at Harris taking reps away from Williams as I do Cole Beasley. That's the guy Harris is really playing for. [embedded_ad]

  • The longer he's removed from the NFL, the more appreciation I have for Emmitt Smith. I grew up watching Emmitt and every Sunday, he just seemed to be out there. And when he wasn't, the Cowboys usually lost. But I think I took for granted how tough he was because despite a shoulder injury here, or a sprained ankle there or the game in Chicago when he was carted off on a stretcher with a scary neck injury, Emmitt usually found his way into the lineup the next week.

Today, the running backs have a hard time staying healthy for an entire game, much less a whole season. And this two-back system wasn't even on the radar back in the 1990s when Emmitt was playing.

But this past Monday, watching RGIII struggle through the first half, it reminded me how Emmitt could miss an entire preseason and still be ready to go Week 1. In 1993, he missed all of camp, preseason and the first two games and came out in Arizona (which was probably triple-digit heat) and still played well.

I know this is preaching to the choir, but even nearly 10 years after his retirement, Emmitt still amazes me more and more.

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